The Timeline and after the End Times

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Visitor Q
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:29 am

Having played WFRP through various different editions and iterations of the lore for the past 25 years I have always been interested in how to marry up some of the WFB GW developments, traditional 80s WFRP and the newer editions. And of course The End Times gave a fresh challenge.

I'm afraid I am not such a fan of Age of Sigmar and the prospect of my players adventuring in a world that was ultimately doomed in a few years time was not very appealing to me.

My latest campaign presented an opportinity to collate a lot of my own thinking and 'head canon' on the subject.

In this version the year is IC. 2537. It is some 15 years after the Storm of Chaos. The End Times were averted at the battle of Lenkster Castle where the Emperor killed Archeon. And yet Karl Franz returned a changed man from the dreadful encounter.

Naturally this isn't official and messes around with the timelines but hopefully does a good job of combining the WFB GW fluff with the more traditional wfrp Lore.

So without further ado this is the introduction I give to my players:

It is the year of our Lord Sigmar 2537.

15 years have passed since the Storm of Chaos ended with the defeat of the Arch Enemy Archeon, fifth Everchosen of Chaos; slain at the hands of the Emperor Karl Franz wielding the legendary warhammer Ghal-Maraz. Half a generation has passed and the Empire has recovered. On the surface at least.

Although the horrific forces of Chaos have been driven back to the Northern Wastes or skulked back to the depths of the forests there has been a rise in mutants spawned across the Empire. Imperial Provinces bicker over the cost of the war and tensions rise between Ulricans and Sigmarites.

The Emperor has not left Altdorf in 8 years. Some say he has grown weary of the responsibility of holding the Empire together or whisper that his confrontation with the Everchosen left him changed somehow.

And every day the enemy grows stronger. The most dangerous enemy. Not the marauders that can be defeated with sword and shot, nor even the monsters that lurk in the forests. Not the enemies without but

THE ENEMY WITHIN


KEY EVENTS. IC (Imperial Calendar)
IC 2521-2522- The Storm of Chaos.

2522 – The Battle of Lenkster Castle. The Empire army, with allied Dwarf and
Brettonian contingents battle against the Northern Horde of Chaos. In a titanic
clash Karl Franz slays the Arch Enemy Archeon in personal combat.

2523 – The forces of the Northern Chaos Horde are driven from the Empire.

2524 – The Conclave of Unity. Karl Franz calls a grand Imperial diet or Reichstag
of the Elector Counts and other senior nobles to begin a unified plan to rebuild
the Empire. Much is negotiated but little resolved.

2525 – The ‘Dispute of Two Theogonists’ concludes with Volkmar the Grim
retiring to a Sigmarite monestary and Esmer I exiled to Marienburg. Yorri XVI is
anointed Grand Theogonist.

2526-2529 The Bitter Moors War – Border disputes with Brettonia flare, unexpectedly into open war that drags on for three years that ends in a bloody stalemate. Karl Franz returns to Altdorf. He does not leave for the next 8 years.

2531-2533 – The Petty Wars. The Storm of Chaos is nearly ten years over and
thousands of nobles have died along with dozens, perhaps hundreds of villages and settlements razed. Arbitrations over boundaries being redrawn and claims to lands have still not been finalised. These disagreements simmer for years, leading to duels, skirmishes and even private wars between Imperial noble families. These clashes are against a backdrop of increasing rivalry between the Temples of Sigmar and Ulric.

2535 – The Temple of Verena in Altdorf and the Universities of Altdorf and Nuln
formally note that there has been a marked increase in mutant births since the Storm of Chaos. Soon after, the circulation of pamphlets speculating as to whether such physical defects can be ascribed to Chaos in every incidence sparks civil disorder in Altdorf that is quickly put down by the city watch.

2536 – The High Temple of Ulric in Middenheim reaffirms its vigilance and unwavering opposition to the physical and spiritual threat of Chaos.

2537 -10th day of Brauzeit, Aubentag - The Present.


I wanted to present this as an opportunity to get comments and provoke discussion on what other GMs do to work in different background material thst they want to use but perhaps is contradictory to other material and thematically to their own version of WFRP.
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Totsuzenheni Yukimi
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I very much like the 'mundane realpolitik' following the high(er) fantasy Storm Of Chaos. I think that there could be more of this realpolitik in this version of the present day Olde World. I could imagine the PCs being faced with the consequences, such as: a 'corrupted artifact' that could have been left lying around pretty much anywhere; a mercenary company that used to be (part of) one of the chaos marauding warbands that is now (effectively) allied to a(n up and coming) lesser noble house; the much more zealous intolerance for the slightest hint of mutation or magic; and so on.

This is very Empire centric. I think some thought needs to go into what was happening elsewhere in the Olde World, and the World, particularly Kislev and Norsica, both of which i imagine have been severely effected and from which i would have thought there are many refugees.

I think i would reconsider the inclusion of Ghal-Maraz.

I think i would reconsider the role of Karl Franz.

I would think about the real events of the Storm Of Chaos versus the various official narratives, folktales, myths, legends, fables and parables.

I like the use of the term 'our Lord Sigmar'. I think i would change it. First, i would capitalise the word 'Our'. Second, i would think about changing the word 'Lord' to 'Emperor' or something similar to Emperor such as 'Impiritor' (implying an older term and meaning and history to the word 'Emperor' and also to the office of the Emperor, and perhaps even implying a connection to Warhammer 40,000 Imperators, if one was so inclined) or 'Primimpiritor' or 'Real Impiritor'. This is because i like the idea that it fundamentally undermines whoever the current Emperor is as a stand in for the real thing. So, the epithet would be something like 'Our Real Impiritor Sigmar', shortened to 'Our Impiritor' in the phrase 'the year of Our Impiritor'.
Herr Arnulfe
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:06 am

Interesting idea advancing the timeline 15 years after the Storm of Chaos. Was the SoC just a failed Chaos incursion or was it the first stage of a long, protracted End Times event?
Visitor Q wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:10 am
Although the horrific forces of Chaos have been driven back to the Northern Wastes or skulked back to the depths of the forests there has been a rise in mutants spawned across the Empire. Imperial Provinces bicker over the cost of the war and tensions rise between Ulricans and Sigmarites.
Any ideas about why mutation is rampant 15 years later? Is it just because there are more Chaos cults, or has there been a weakening of the Vortex / leyline network which increased the quantity of Chaos magic in the world?

My own imagining of the post-SoC Empire also involved misguided optimism ("horray, the apocalypse has been averted for another 200 years!"). Once the post-war mutants had been rounded up and burned, and reconstruction was underway (around 1-2 years later), the future looked bright. However, Archaon's invasion had brought countless daemonic entities into the world, and many of them had possessed mortals as pawns in the Great Game. I didn't want Chaos to remain united beyond the SoC. The main issue for gameplay was that in WH, daemonic possessions don't usually last very long, so their Great Game ploys would have to be fairly short-term i.e. the central focus of campaigns played in the post-SoC period.
Visitor Q
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:29 am

totsuzenheni wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:15 pm
I very much like the 'mundane realpolitik' following the high(er) fantasy Storm Of Chaos. I think that there could be more of this realpolitik in this version of the present day Olde World....

........

This is very Empire centric. I think some thought needs to go into what was happening elsewhere in the Olde World, and the World, particularly Kislev and Norsica, both of which i imagine have been severely effected and from which i would have thought there are many refugees.


......

I think i would reconsider the role of Karl Franz.

I would think about the real events of the Storm Of Chaos versus the various official narratives, folktales, myths, legends, fables and parables.

I like the use of the term 'our Lord Sigmar'. I think i would change it. First, i would capitalise the word 'Our'. Second, i would think about changing the word 'Lord' to 'Emperor' or something similar to Emperor such as 'Impiritor' (implying an older term and meaning and history to the word 'Emperor' and also to the office of the Emperor, and perhaps even implying a connection to Warhammer 40,000 Imperators, if one was so inclined) or 'Primimpiritor' or 'Real Impiritor'. This is because i like the idea that it fundamentally undermines whoever the current Emperor is as a stand in for the real thing. So, the epithet would be something like 'Our Real Impiritor Sigmar', shortened to 'Our Impiritor' in the phrase 'the year of Our Impiritor'.

Funnily enough I agree with almost all these points or at least have an explanation!

This is the movie trailer pitch that will give any player from rat catcher to elf noble enough context to understand what's going on, or at least what is understood to be going on.

I have a massive amount of my own lore for more or less every region. There's a whole separate thing about the Estalian Kingdom of Los Cabos being on the verge of forming a coastal Empire from the Border Princes to Marienburg for example. Kislev is deeply involved in Ostland politics and so on.

The role of Karl Franz is there to marry the Special Character WFB Karl Franz with the feeble minded Karl Franz of TEW. I'd be interested to get your take on where you'd tale it instead.

With regard to Storm of Chaos myth vs reality completly agree. Throughout the campaign the players occasionally meet veterans. What happened is rarely described in exact detail except the veterans were profoundly effected by it.

That said I am very much of the opinion that it is important to remember that sometimes in the Warhammer World when the chronicles record a Bloodthirster rampaging across a battlefield clear as day and being killed by the hero Tyrion of Ulthuan they don't mean it as a political allogary for the barbarism of Norsca compared to the High Elves. They mean a Bloodthirster rampaged across a battlefield and got destroyed by a High Elf Prince.

Re: term for Sigmar its an interesting idea but I'm not really convinced. But I want to hear more. Why the idea that the current Emperor is a stand in? I never really got the impression that the Imperial culture had a tradition that Sigmar would return.
Visitor Q
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:29 am

Herr Arnulfe wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:59 pm
Interesting idea advancing the timeline 15 years after the Storm of Chaos. Was the SoC just a failed Chaos incursion or was it the first stage of a long, protracted End Times

......


Any ideas about why mutation is rampant 15 years later? Is it just because there are more Chaos cults, or has there been a weakening of the Vortex / leyline network which increased the quantity of Chaos magic in the world?

My own imagining of the post-SoC Empire also involved misguided optimism ("horray, the apocalypse has been averted for another 200 years!"). Once the post-war mutants had been rounded up and burned, and reconstruction was underway (around 1-2 years later), the future looked bright. However, Archaon's invasion had brought countless daemonic entities into the world, and many of them had possessed mortals as pawns in the Great Game. I didn't want Chaos to remain united beyond the SoC. The main issue for gameplay was that in WH, daemonic possessions don't usually last very long, so their Great Game ploys would have to be fairly short-term i.e. the central focus of campaigns played in the post-SoC period.
So personally I don't view this setting as one ultimately culminating in End Times necessarily but then I don't ever see Chaos being utterly defeated either.

The short answer as to why mutation is rampant 15 years later is probably so some of the plot of TEW can happen.

However in game I think it is partially because of so many people of the Empire being exposed to Chaos (which I liken to something like physical, mental and spiritual radiation).

There's probably also an element of there simply being more witchhunters and others vigilant for mutants. Perhaps 10 years before SoC Ol' Jimmy the carpenter with the wierd boil on his face was seen as an ok guy. Perhaps a bit isolated but he made good tables and didn't cause problems. After SoC?...wierd boil?..."that's a burnin".

Equally if 1 million of the most hardcore Choas marauders, mutants and sorcerers storm out of the Chaos waste into the Empire and 99% get driven off or killed that still leaves 10,000 trapsing around the Forests starting cults and causing trouble. These aren't your average emo Altdorf student dabbling in demonology either. These are grade-A spiky-armour upside down face, tenatacle for arms hombres.

Finally thematically I think it is quite an interesting idea that as gunpowder and other technologies develop potentially the physical danger that the Chaos incursions represent gradually decreases but the spiritual and social threat does not.
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Totsuzenheni Yukimi
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:38 pm

Visitor Q wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:54 pm
I have a massive amount of my own lore for more or less every region. There's a whole separate thing about the Estalian Kingdom of Los Cabos being on the verge of forming a coastal Empire from the Border Princes to Marienburg for example. Kislev is deeply involved in Ostland politics and so on.
Feel free to make it all downloadable somewhere if you get the time.
Visitor Q wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:54 pm
The role of Karl Franz is there to marry the Special Character WFB Karl Franz with the feeble minded Karl Franz of TEW. I'd be interested to get your take on where you'd tale it instead.
I'm not sure exactly where i'd take it but the reason i think i'd reconsider the role of Karl Franz is because i don't think i would have the WFB Karl Franz to start with. Although i like the juxtaposition between the high(er) fantasy Storm Of Chaos and the low(er) fantasy realpolitik i think a pre-Storm Of Chaos Empire full of high fantasy heroes and/or led by a high fantasy hero Emperor takes the setting too far in that direction.
Visitor Q wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:54 pm
Re: term for Sigmar its an interesting idea but I'm not really convinced. But I want to hear more. Why the idea that the current Emperor is a stand in? I never really got the impression that the Imperial culture had a tradition that Sigmar would return.
I seem to recall there was the idea that Sigmar would return. Maybe i got that idea from Empire In Flames. I like the idea of that legend anyway. When i write that the Emperor is a stand in for the real thing i'm throwing that idea in rather than drawing on something i've read in the Warhammer Fantasy canon and apocrypha. As i recall, in (The Enemy Within campaign's version of) the WFRP first edition, the Emperor is elected, though to some extent in practice the position is also effectively hereditary. I was thinking of there being a technical, legal clause; quietly and lightly contested in it's perceived ongoing suspended relevance, that Emperor is 'Imperator Deputata' (or some such thing). Now i think more on it i think perhaps that a better epithet for Sigmar, imaging something along these same lines, might be 'Our God And King Sigmar'. Here's where i might take that:

'Our God And King Sigmar'. 'In the year of Our God And King Sigmar'.
The 'King' part is the potentially politically problematic part of the epithet for a few reasons. First because technically, in law, the role of the elected Emperor is to exercise Imperial power on behalf of all the electors in the absense of the King. This is a means by which other electors and certain members of the church of Sigmar might, in certain circumstances, curtail the power of an Emperor and maintain their right to appoint or even dismiss the Emperor. In practice if this ancient legal basis for the Emperor were ever invoked it could be contested, not least because there are more recent documents that could be interpreted as having (more) legal standing that date from the time of Emperor Magnus. Second because, although the 'common folk' may or may not be aware of the aforementioned legal technicality, the idea that Sigmar is (still) the King of the Empire (and that the Emperor is not the King of the Empire) remains inherent in the latent understanding of the title. Third because some parts of the Empire, that is some tribes in parts of what would become the Empire, never recognised Sigmar as their King as such, but (only) as (the first) Emperor. (A Middenheimer or follower of Ulric might be aware of this.)
The 'God' part reinforces the 'King' part of the epithet whilst also blurring it's definition.
Herr Arnulfe
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:06 am

Visitor Q wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:17 pm
Equally if 1 million of the most hardcore Choas marauders, mutants and sorcerers storm out of the Chaos waste into the Empire and 99% get driven off or killed that still leaves 10,000 trapsing around the Forests starting cults and causing trouble. These aren't your average emo Altdorf student dabbling in demonology either. These are grade-A spiky-armour upside down face, tenatacle for arms hombres.
I'd be inclined to use corrupt hedge wizards and/or black magisters in the role of cult leaders, rather than having northern Chaos marauders hanging around in the Empire for that long. Someone like Egrim van Horstman could thrive in the post-SoC environment. Although there are exceptions (e.g. Ulfhednar in Death on the Reik) most Chaos Warriors aren't missionary types.
Visitor Q wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:17 pm
Finally thematically I think it is quite an interesting idea that as gunpowder and other technologies develop potentially the physical danger that the Chaos incursions represent gradually decreases but the spiritual and social threat does not.
Good idea. Perhaps some inspiration could be taken from Warhammer: Total War 1, in which defeating Archaon's incursion triggered an "Age of Peace". Alliances that had formed between Order factions over 150 turns leading up to the Chaos incursion would begin to crumble, and infighting between the provinces would resume in lieu of a common enemy to unite them. In a WFRP context, this could represent the inherent evil which makes humanity so susceptible to Chaos corruption in the first place.
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Overlord
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When i read "End Times" i join the group who dont agree with idea of changing Storm of Chaos and then i get the idea. I choose to use "End Times" as "Celestine Book of Divination" of Necrodomo. So the idea was to marry the idea of Chaos profecy. Also i choose to use more WFRP 1 edition setup - You know less demons and mutants with WFRP 2 edition to setup after "Storm of Chaos" taking "Storm of Chaos Timeline" by Jackdays
I have ocean of treasures at the bottom. You can search it If You want, but You may never come back.
Visitor Q
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:29 am

I really like the idea of using End Times material as Nostradamus style prophecies. Apologies but consider that stolen :-)
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